"The Office" has clocked out for good, but the lives of Dunder Mifflin's finest (and not so finest) go on. But, wait ... did we ever get to see the final documentary, "The Office: An American Workplace," that's been at the center of it all? We sure did; in fact, we've been watching it for the last eight years. The finale — which takes place one year after the doc started airing — signed off on all the right notes: with love (Dwight and Angela's wedding!), Jim pulling the ultimate prank on Dwight, a kidnapping (oh, Mose!), and a touching celebration of all the unlikely friendships that formed at the small Scranton paper company.
Best of all, everyone showed up — and, oh yes, we mean everyone! It happened, and (sniff, sniff), it was perfect. Steve Carell came back as Michael Scott for one last hurrah and one last "That's what she said." And the circumstances couldn't have been better.
Check out Carrell's return as Michael Scott to "The Office":
As Alan Sepinwall at HitFix put it, the finale provided "a large helping of sweetness, nostalgia for who these people were and who they became, and occasional bursts of silliness that felt in step with the buoyant nature of the whole episode."
Hope you had a box of tissues nearby for this sweet, quirky, and awkward finale that hit all the right notes in the evolution of "The Office" and its oddball characters. Even those who weren't ready to admit the finale was perfect were still moved by the warmth of the episode. "Good intentions couldn’t entirely erase some of the creative missteps, and using a wedding as the device to close out the series seemed a little bit trite. Nevertheless, it was hard not to feel that old spirit rekindled when Steve Carell showed up in a perfectly orchestrated cameo," said Variety's Brian Lowry.
As Lori Rackl, of the Chicago Sun-Times, said, "Thursday’s 75-minute sendoff wasn’t the funniest episode, but it didn’t have to be. It was meant to provide closure for a deep bench of memorable characters viewers came to know over the last nine seasons. Its purpose was to tie up loose ends, something it did with all the dexterity of the Scranton Strangler."
And sure, the concept wasn't groundbreaking, but the execution was sublime. "It used every device in the emotional-comedy playbook to do it: a wedding, reunions, flashback footage, a romantic gesture, a goodbye song. It was touching, sweet, funny, messy, a little manipulative. And in the end, it worked," wrote James Poniewozik, Time Entertainment.
The gang reminisce about their time at Dunder Mifflin:
Jim's ultimate prank
Jim (John Krasinski), who was Dwight's (Rainn Wilson) bestest mensch (aka best man), told the groom shortly before heading down the aisle that traditionally the bestest mensch actually had to be older than the groom. (Insert Jim's signature knowing glance at the camera.) Dwight looked distraught until — wait for it — Michael Scott popped up in the doorway to fulfill his rightful bestest role. It touched us deeply … that's what she said. Josh Wolk at Vulture nailed it with his take on this scene: "Marriage, shmarriage. If you didn't rewind that moment at least three times, you're dead inside."
Dwight: "I can't believe you came!" Michael: "That's what she said." 😂😩😓 #theoffice
— Adrian Roger Ramirez (@haterjockin) May 17, 2013
I've never seen something be so good and last so long. That's what she said. #theoffice
— Isaac (@incoppola) May 17, 2013
— Krystal (@krystalisms) May 17, 2013
Jim Halpert shaped me. Truly. My sense of humor is directly a result of the show, The Office.
— Dionysus (@IanTheMessiah) May 17, 2013
Times were tough for aspiring triple threat Andy (Ed Helms). After his botched hissy fit of an audition for "America’s Next A Cappella Sensation," he became a viral sensation — and not in a good way. He was pretty much heckled wherever he went. But good old Nard Dog managed to keep it together despite being known globally as Baby Wawa (even "SNL" did a spoof!) and landed his dream job at Cornell.
— Morgan Hall (@morganlynnhall) May 17, 2013
crying crying crying because baby wawa is over. Thank you @theofficenbc you made my Thursdays 739271x's better
— Francesca (@francesca_m13) May 17, 2013
All in the family
Even Erin (Ellie Kemper) got her moment to shine. During the panel celebrating the documentary (hundreds of people gathered in Scranton to ask the Dunder Mifflin crew about their lives), her birth mother — whom she'd been searching for — showed up in the audience to reunite. Icing on the cake: She was played by the awesome Joan Cusack! Erin's birth father (Ed Begley Jr.) was also there for the big family hug. All was right in the world for Erin.
I almost teared up when Erin met her parents, I'm predicting I'll be bawling when it finally ends 😭😭😭😭😭😭 #theoffice
— Bradley Ecker (@bradweiser96) May 17, 2013
May have just teared up a little from that part in the office when Erin meets her birth parents...
— Megan Ruedisueli (@megruedi20) May 17, 2013
They deserve each other
Kelly (Mindy Kaling) got herself a man, Ravi (Sendhil Ramamurthy), and he looked good! He was even a pediatrician! But who needs a baby daddy when you've got a baby doctor, right? Wrong. Ryan (B.J. Novak) showed up, and he was carrying a baby. Yep, it was his. His girlfriend ran out on him and little Drake, leaving him a single parent. But he hadn't forgotten about Kelly. After tricking Ravi into caring for his suddenly sick baby (he intentionally gave Drake a mild allergic reaction), he and Kelly made out and then ran off into the sunset together. Looks like he hadn't quite mastered commitment as he claimed. Good thing Nellie (Catherine Tate) was there to carry little Drake off to Europe with her.
— Jenny Lorenzo (@JENNIZZLES) May 17, 2013
"everybody who watches the show thinks of himself as jim&pam but they are probably like ryan&kelly" lmaooo mindy #theoffice
— .flor (@floweringss) May 17, 2013
Pam's romantic gesture
At the panel, it was clear that Jim had formed quite the lady following. Clearly all those romantic Jim moments weren't lost on viewers. One asked what Pam (Jenna Fischer) was doing to reciprocate his sweet gestures. She declined to answer but definitely had something up her sleeve. She secretly sold their house (hey, he secretly bought it) so that they could pursue his dream at Athleap. Next stop for the Halperts: Austin, Texas.
Jim and Pam make me believe in romance again.The Office - it's been real.
— Bridget Kiepe (@KiepeOnKiepenOn) May 17, 2013
More memorable moments
Angela (Angela Kinsey) was kidnapped by Mose (Michael Schur) during her bachelorette party, but don't fear, it's an Amish tradition. Too bad Angela had to spend three hours in the trunk of a car. Eh, still might be better than watching Meredith (Kate Flannery) teach her stripper son how to dance.
#theoffice makes a weirdly valid point for moms: if you accidentally hire your son as a stripper, still praise him for a job well done.
— Caitlin (The) Marsh (@SarcastcAcadmic) May 17, 2013
@emelizabeth3 Meredith is one of my favorite characters.Not ashamed to be who she is.
— Colleen McGuinness (@collmcg) May 17, 2013
The story of Dwangela:
Speaking of stripper, Dwight mistaking his stripper for a waitress was classic. Did someone ever bring him his onion loaf?
Dwight won't tip the stripper. If only she were a urologist. #TheOffice
— Matt Love (@_MattLove) May 17, 2013
Ever wonder if Michael was happy in Colorado? He really was. In fact, he had kids now, and we all know how much he wanted a family. He even carried two phones with him so that he had enough space for all their pics! E! Online's Tierney Bricker's reaction: "Excuse us while we drown in tears of joy." Agreed!
Oscar (Oscar Nuñez), who was now running for a Senate seat, was Angela and Dwight's baby's godfather. Stanley (Leslie David Baker) retired to Florida, where he could whittle wood all day. Creed (Creed Bratto) was a wanted man living in the office, and by the way, he had a beautiful singing voice.
Ok funniest part of the office finale was Oscar saying "wazzzzzzup"
— meg (@doublemh_) May 17, 2013
Creed Bratton absolutely killed it on the Series Finale of The Office.
— Cameron Lackey (@Lackey44) May 17, 2013
Pam painted a mural to tell the "history of us." It was initially the "history of paper," but someone drew butts all over it. This new mural included the whole Dunder Mifflin family ... and family they were. Michael Scott put it, er, best: "I feel like all my kids grew up and they married each other. It's every parent's dream." And just like that — or so it seems — it was a wrap.
[Related: The 22 Best and Worst TV Series Finales Ever]
Entertainment Weekly's Hillary Busis salutes the series' finale with the ultimate compliment: "For anyone who’s stuck with 'The Office' through thick and thin, fat years and lean years… last night’s finale was pretty much perfect."
There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things, isnt that the point? -final words on the office. wisely spoken by Pam Beasley
— sam slovisky (@Slovisky_11) May 17, 2013
— Tony Feagin (@tehtonyism) May 17, 2013
The. Office. Is. Over. 😢 Jim Pam Dwight Michael and the entire cast will have a place in my heart.❤Thank you for 9 great seasons #TheOffice
— JC Plattor (@jcp423) May 17, 2013
The last episode of the office was tonight I will miss jim pam dwight angela kevin oscar philis kelly ryan erin so sad #lifegoeson
— Ashley Stoll (@AMaeAnn) May 17, 2013
Watch the full episode:
Check out photos from "The Office" wrap party in Scranton:
Share your thoughts on the series finale of "The Office" in the comments below!